Book Review of
As Bright As Heaven
In 1918, Philadelphia was a city teeming with promise. Even as its young men went off to fight in the Great War, there were opportunities for a fresh start on its cobblestone streets. Into this bustling town, came Pauline Bright and her husband, filled with hope that they could now give their three daughters–Evelyn, Maggie, and Willa–a chance at a better life.
But just months after they arrive, the Spanish Flu reaches the shores of America. As the pandemic claims more than twelve thousand victims in their adopted city, they find their lives left with a world that looks nothing like the one they knew. But even as they lose loved ones, they take in a baby orphaned by the disease who becomes their single source of hope. Amidst the tragedy and challenges, they learn what they cannot live without–and what they are willing to do about it.
As Bright as Heaven is the compelling story of a mother and her daughters who find themselves in a harsh world not of their making, which will either crush their resolve to survive or purify it.
I got the book As Bright As Heaven by Susan Meissner through Book of the Month. It is a novel about a family in Philadelphia during WWI and the Spanish Flu outbreak. I wasn’t sure what to expect because I have not read a lot, besides what I learned in history class, about the Spanish Flu outbreak in America. It sounded like an interesting book and part of history, so I got it.
I ended up loving this book. I read it in just a couple of days. The writing was well done. It gave me an important part of history in an interesting way. It follows a family through life, death, war, and more. All to often historical fiction and novels feel fake. The main characters so often feel like they are in a story that one couldn’t really see happening. As I read this book though, I could totally imagine this happening and why it could. The family and their problems felt real which is what made the book so good.
I will say that the way they ended the story with one of the sisters is odd. It is weird, and I don’t think it would have happened in that era and time, but besides that I loved the book.